St. Juliana Falconieri
JULIANA FALCONIERI was born in answer to prayer, in 1270. Her father built the splendid church of the Annunziata in Florence, while her uncle, Blessed Alexius, became one of the founders of the Servite Order. Under his care Juliana grew up, as he said, more like an angel than a human being. Such was her modesty that she never used a mirror or gazed upon the face of a man during her whole life. The mere mention of sin made her shudder and tremble, and once hearing a scandal related she fell into a dead swoon. Her devotion to the sorrows of Our Lady drew her to the Servants of Mary; and, at the age of fourteen, she refused an offer of marriage, and received the habit from St. Philip Benizi himself. Her sanctity attracted many novices, for whose direction she was bidden to draw up a rule, and thus with reluctance she became foundress of the "Mantellate." She was with her children as their servant rather than their mistress, while outside her convent she led a life of apostolic charity, converting sinners, reconciling enemies, and healing the sick by sucking with her own lips their ulcerous sores. She was sometimes rapt for whole days in ecstasy, and her prayers saved the Servite Order when it was in danger of being suppressed. She was visited in her last hour by angels in the form of white doves, and Jesus Himself, as a beautiful child, crowned her with a garland of flowers. She wasted away through a disease of the stomach, which prevented her taking food. She bore her silent agony with constant cheerfulness, grieving only for the privation of Holy Communion. At last, when, in her seventieth year, she had sunk to the point of death, she begged to be allowed once more to see and adore the Blessed Sacrament. It was brought to her cell, and reverently laid on a corporal, which was placed over her heart. At this moment she expired, and the Sacred Host disappeared. After her death the form of the Host was found stamped upon her heart in the exact spot over which the Blessed Sacrament ì had been placed. Juliana died A. D. 1340.
Reflection. —"Meditate often," says St. Paul of the Cross, "on the sorrows of the holy Mother, sorrows inseparable from those of her beloved Son. If you seek the Cross, there you will find the Mother; and where the Mother is, there also is the Son."
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Commemoration of Sts. Gerase and Protase
Introit • Ps. 44, 8
Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity: there for God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. (P. T. Alleluia, alleluia.) Ps. 44, 2. My heart that uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King. Glory be …
O God, Who didst vouchsafe miraculously to restore blessed Juliana, Thy virgin, with the precious body of Thy Son, when she suffered with a mortal sickness, grant, we beseech Thee, that, by her merits interceding for us, we, too, being refreshed and strengthened by the same in the agony of death, may be brought to our heavenly country.
Epistle • 2 Cor. 10, 17;11, 1, 2
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians.
[He warneth them against false teachers. He counts all other things loss, that he may gain Christ.]
BRETHREN, But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he who commendeth himself, is approved, but he, whom God commendeth. Would to God you could bear with some little of my folly: but do bear with me. For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God. For I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Gradual • Ps. 44, 8
Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity. Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness.
Alleluia, alleluia. After her shall virgins be brought to the King: her neighbors shall be brought to thee with gladness. Alleluia.
Gospel • Matt. 25, 1-13
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew.
[The parable of the ten virgins and of the talents. The description of the last judgment.]
At that time, Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable: the kingdom of heaven be like to ten virgins, who taking their lamps went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride. And five of them were foolish, and five wise. But the five foolish, having taken their lamps, did not take oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with the lamps. And the bridegroom tarrying, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made: Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet him. Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise: Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out. The wise answered, saying: Lest perhaps there be not enough for us and for you, go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. Now whilst they went to buy, the bridegroom came: and they that were ready, went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut.
But at last come also the other virgins, saying: Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answering said: Amen I say to you, I know you not. Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour.
Offertory • Ps. 17, 14, 16
The daughter of kings in Thy honor: the queen stood on Thy right hand, in gilded clothing, surrounded with variety. (P. T. Alleluia.)
May the offering of Thy consecrated people be accepted by Thee, O Lord, in honor of Thy saints, by whose merits it knoweth that it hath received aid in time of trouble. Through our Lord.
Communion • Matt. 25, 4, 6
The five wise virgins took oil in their vessels with lamps: but at midnight there was a cry made, Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet Christ our Lord. (P. T. Alleluia.)
Thou hast filled Thy household, O Lord, with sacred gifts; ever comfort us, we beseech Thee, through her intercession whose festival we celebrate. Through our Lord.